THE DISTRICT

Man Fatally Shot in Northeast

A man was shot to death in his apartment building in Northeast Washington early yesterday, police say.

Ray Charles, 44, was found at 8:35 a.m., just inside the door of his apartment in the 1900 block of Third Street NE. He had no signs of life when officers arrived, police said. Police knew of no suspects yesterday, said Sgt. Joe Gentile, a police spokesman.

Anyone with information can call police at 202-727-9099. Information leading to an arrest is eligible for a reward of as much as $25,000.

Gorilla Didn't Have TB

The National Zoo gorilla whose inconclusive tuberculosis test prompted a temporary closing of the Great Ape House has been found to be free of the disease, zoo officials said.

The zoo announced Friday that it received results of a definitive test on the 4-year-old male gorilla that showed his lungs free of the bacteria that cause TB. The ape house was closed from April 24 to May 8 as a precaution after routine testing proved inconclusive.

MARYLAND

Officer Accused of Gun Threat

A Montgomery County police officer has been arrested on three counts of assault after allegedly using his service revolver to threaten a former girlfriend who had come to his Gaithersburg apartment.

David Michael Smith, 22, a police officer of 18 months assigned to the 5th District in Germantown, was arrested shortly after 11 a.m. Friday. Montgomery County police officials said Smith and his former girlfriend argued in the parking lot outside the apartment on Quince Orchard Boulevard. Police said that when she refused to leave, Smith pointed his police revolver at her legs. The woman called police, who arrested Smith and charged him with first- and second-degree assault and reckless endangerment. He was later released on his own recognizance.

Smith, who was not on duty at the time, has been placed on administrative leave with pay, officials said, pending criminal and internal police investigations.

Quiz Show Crowns Champion

Richard Montgomery High School in Rockville scored a last-second victory over Quince Orchard High School in Gaithersburg and the Holton-Arms School in Bethesda in yesterday's broadcast of the Washington area championship on the taped TV quiz show "It's Academic."

But the Montgomery County team went on to lose to Howard High School in the show's Super Bowl for the region that includes Virginia, Maryland and the District.

The Ellicott City school -- winner of the Baltimore area competition with the team of Amelia Liebhold, Eric Moberg and Vincent Wickenheiser and coach John Gilbert -- also defeated central Virginia winner Spotswood High School in Rockingham County in the contest broadcast last night.

Richard Montgomery High's team included Seth Samelson, Daniel Belkin and Humza Kazmi, and coach Dan McKenna.

Police Seek Clues in Killing

Prince George's County police found a man stabbed and dying in the hallway of a Langley Park apartment building early yesterday but know of no suspects or motive in the slaying, authorities said.

The unidentified man was found with several stab wounds about 12:45 a.m. in a building in the 8200 block of 14th Avenue, police said yesterday. He died at the hospital a short time later.

Anyone with information can call police at 301-772-4925. A reward as much as $1,000 is being offered for a tip that leads to an arrest.

THE REGION

Man Falls Off Beltway Bridge

A man's fall off the American Legion Bridge early yesterday closed the inner loop of the Capital Beltway for about an hour, authorities said.

About 4:15 a.m., police responded to a single-car crash on the bridge. Montgomery County Fire and Rescue Service spokesman Pete Piringer said witnesses saw a man jump or fall off the bridge. Rescue workers found him lying on the shoreline more than 50 feet below.

The inner loop was closed at the bridge, and traffic was backed up for about a mile. A medevac helicopter landed on the Beltway, and rescue workers used ropes and a wire stretcher to hoist the man. He was taken by helicopter to a hospital.

"I didn't plan that Washington was going to be the sandbox that God was going to give me to try to reach. This is the only city that we believe that you can honestly say, 'Change this city and you can change the world.' "

-- the Rev. Lon Solomon of McLean Bible Church.

-- Page A1

Compiled from reports by staff writers Lila Arzua, Jay Mathews, Brigid Schulte, Neely Tucker and Martin Weil.